PARMA, OH (WOIO) - Family and friends gathered Thursday at Yurch Funeral Home on Broadview Road in Parma to pay their respects to 16-year-old Sergey Pivovarnik, Jr.
Pivovarnik died Monday. He drowned in a pond at Veterans Memorial Park.
He and some friends were swimming in the pond after football practice when Sergey went under.
When you mention Sergey's name in Parma the response is always the same.
"Everybody liked him. Everybody wanted to show support. Everybody loved him," John Baker said.
"The kid was wonderful," Colton Jennings said. "Honestly, everybody loved him."
That adoration was made more than evident by the long line out the door at his visitation Thursday afternoon.
Hundreds attended, some waiting 30 minutes to say goodbye to a life taken far too soon.
"He deserves so much more. He was such a kind person. He doesn't deserve to die like this, so young," said Sergey's childhood friend Kyle Lyon.
According to his friends, Sergey and his Parma High School teammates went to Veterans Memorial Park after football practice Monday, where the 16-year-old accepted a $20 bet to swim across the pond, despite not being able to swim.
There have been several prayer vigils for Sergey since. A makeshift memorial in his honor continues to grow at the park.
Thursday, friends, family, and classmates had another opportunity to reminisce about the young man with the infectious smile.
"He always had the biggest smile. Always smiling. You couldn't get Sergey to frown," Ally Kugler said.
"It melts my heart that there are so many people that care about him," Lyon added.
"I love you Sergey," said Colton Jennings. "That's how I feel."
Sergey had aspirations of becoming a doctor.
His funeral is Friday at 10 a.m. at the Yurch Funeral Home in Parma. The interment will be at Brooklyn Heights Cemetery.
Family and friends will hold a car wash at the Local Tavern on Sunday in Parma at 5513 Pearl Road from noon - 6 p.m. to raise money for the family.